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E.U. pushing bullies out of the workplace

Empty office cubicles

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The European Commission has taken action against what it calls a major problem in the workplace. The commission just signed a pact with employers and unions aimed at stamping out bullying. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: The problem is widespread. According to one survey, 5 percent of the European workforce have been bullied over the past 12 months. This may be physical violence or verbal abuse or constant nitpicking by a domineering boss.

The pact signed today aims to tackle the problem. Europe's leading union and employers organizations have agreed to crackdown on all forms of harassment.

Phillipe de Buck speaks for most of Europe's large employers.

PHILLIPE DE BUCK: To fight against harassment, to fight against violence at work, this is an important element for sound, productive human resources management.

He says bullying leads to absenteeism and low productivity. Harassment is reckoned to cost to Britain's state-run health service $200 million a year.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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